Vocational education reform: Key to Vietnam’s 2020 vision

CanThoFloatingMarketVietnam plans to transform into an industrialised country by 2020 with vocational education a core focus, as the demand for skilled workers increases.

With a growing rate (1.4 million) entering the labour market per year, skill development is crucial.  As it stands, only 27% of Vietnamese workers have job-relevant training… with only 15% having completed formal vocational training.

The Government has set a goal in place: to reform vocational education.

By 2020, 55% of workers will be job-ready – with vocational training closely aligned to the needs of a ‘green’ economy.

Overhauling Vietnam’s vocational & educational system

Raising performance and introducing a payroll levy for training, are two suggestions that have been brought forward to activate more enterprise-based training.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other partners, supported a project to help improve the system’s market orientation, upgrade key schools by developing curricula and instructional materials, improve equipment and facilities, and strengthen institutional capacity in the General Department of Vocational Training.

This included establishing a labour market information system for program accreditation and technical certification systems, improving access for women and minority students, staff development, and private sector participation.

Bridging the skills gap

Vietnam has a low unemployment rate, but it does face tough obstacles with its younger workforce.

6.3% of youth between 15-24 years old are out of work and 20% of new graduates can’t find work – according to the Vietnam Ministry of Labour.  Alongside this, 62% of businesses reported struggles filling jobs – this is an alarming labour mismatch.

Gaps in job-related technical skills, cognitive skills such as problem solving and critical thinking, and core skills like teamwork and communication, are areas of concern.

The key is to address future demand for skills with a closer connection with businesses.

Encouraging training beyond formal education is also essential to ensure employers have access to the skills they need.  Work-based vocational training has been successful in other countries, and is a good way to tackle the burgeoning skills shortage.

Aligning economic and workforce planning, certifying skills and enhancing partnerships between education and training providers, will help address Vietnam’s skill shortages.

A diverse, job-ready workforce is central to Vietnam’s economic modernisation.

Ensure your Registered Training Organisation (RTO) or TVET Institution is ready for the evolving workforce landscape.

Contact Wendy Perry, via wendy@wpaa.com.au, to develop an action plan, with your target markets in mind and consider opportunities in Vietnam.

February 2016

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